Saturday, June 7, 2008

Soccer Trivia

Its Year 2008….Called as the ’Year of the Rat’ in the Chinese Calendar…we’ve been witness to events galore…some good, some bad…some worthy sittin’ up n takin’ notice of…n some better forgotten…So what’s occupied our lives for the last 5 months?...For those of you who’ve been too busy to wake up n take a look around….here’s a brief flashback:

Inflation…around 8.1%, an all time high(somethin’ which is affectin’ every normal Indian! :-()…Prices are soarin’…Livin’ costs are increasin’…definitely a big issue needin’ immediate concern from our current rulin’ government if they need a hefty favourable vote bank in General Elections-2009…Wake up PMO:-)

US Recession-Indian Sensex…Now you must be wonderin’ why Im takin’ up these two topics in common…Well, it so happens, that whenever we have a ‘Hera-Pheri’ on Dow Jones or NYSE, it directly translates into a mighty Bear hijackin’ our Indian Stock Market…Over-dependence on US Or Over-emphasis on certain sectors? Instinctive buyin’ & sellin’ on Dalal Street Or simple plain Ignorance?... Doesn’t matter, for the average Indian, its still all about ‘Roti-Kapda aur Makaan’!!!!

IPL…Well this needs no introduction…Player Auctions, Icons or no Icons, Big bucks or Spirit of the Game, Brand Ambassadors or Owner-spats…we’ve seen it all…!...With all the glitz, glamour, controversies in plenty…its still managed to connect! Now if we have SRK, Preity Zinta and the ever-obligin’ cheer-girls addin’ the ‘oomph’ factor to the whole event…we have a Ganguly huggin’ an Akhtar, a Dhoni pattin’ Hayden, a new Asnodkar gettin’ an approval from the mighty Warne, Bhaji slappin’ Sreesanth (No Sree…cryin’ is still a big no-no in public for men! ;-))…Do we need more Globalization? Cricket has always been a passion that unites we Indians…n with IPL, guess the game’s juz gotten truly INTERNATIONAL!!! …Bulls-Eye BCCI!!!!
PS: For those of you who missed it, the Rajasthan Royals(RR) spearheaded by the ever affable Shane Warne made it with the inaugural IPL Finals Prized Cup by beatin’ truly deservin’ runners-up, the Chennai Super Kings(CSK), lead by the ‘Enjoy the game boys’ congenial MS Dhoni …so what if one thought that RR was juz a team to make up the numbers, they’ve still proved that ‘Agar Insaan real main kuch chahta hai, actual main, usse wohi milta hai’(Forgive me Mr. Dialogue Writer of ‘Jab We Met’ for the quote here, but I sincerely thought there was no other way to sum it up, treat it as an appreciation of your talent!;-))

Aarushi Talwar Murder case…a 14 year old n her servant brutally killed by suspect, father Dr.Rajesh Talwar…Wide news coverage, goof up by Noida Police, manipulated witness statements…its all been one shockin’ instance of fragile human relationships!...Does it potray a very vulnerable new India prone to declining parent-child bonding? Well from the looks of it, it certainly does! Irrespective of who the murderer is, irrespective of what the CBI does now, irrespective of how many such cases go unnoticed everyday…It still raises a lot of Unanswered Questions!
May Justice prevail, that’s the least we can do for the innocent Aarushi’s soul to rest in peace! Amen!

The earthquake in China, the Jaipur Blasts, Nitish Katara Murder Judgement, Indecisive Nuclear deal, Fuel-Price Hike, Run up to US Presidential Elections, Tibet chaos, Olympic Torch, New Pakistan Government, Roger Federer’s form(Well pardon me, but sports is somethin’ am always partial to :-)) …n much more, has kept us occupied…Media never leave any stone unturned in turnin’ anythin’ into ‘Breaking News’, do they? ;-)

Now Now…forget all the above, the purpose of me writin’ all the above stuff is again related to my favourite topic: SPORTS!(For all the cynics out there, I think I can be forgiven here for thinkin’ that ‘sports’ is the only thing which brings both a Jekyl n Hide together ;-))….Wonderin’ where all this is leadin’ to? …Scroll further down…

Welcome to EURO-2008 :-) ,
A Wonderful world of Soccer (Nothin’ but ‘Football’ in ordinary terms for the rookies out there :-))

Time of the year again to go out n watch the 16 best teams in the world of Soccer coming together for EURO-2008, an event that is known as the prelude to FIFA World Cup, if not better than that!
Juz a lil’ statistics:
Group A: Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Portugal, Turkey
Group B: Austria, Croatia, Germany, Poland
Group C: Netherlands, Italy, Romania, France
Group D: Greece, Sweden, Spain, Russia

Did I miss somethin’ out there? Ummm…well…Guess I did, its ENGLAND… am gonna miss them real bad…after all we wouldn’t get to see the magical combo of Beckham-Lampard-Rooney-Gerrard-Owen :-( …sad that they did not qualify despite havin’ a fantastic League team, hope Russia proves its worthy of bein’ in the top-16 for Euro this year, after all they were the ones responsible for England not makin’ it!

Fantastic teams… top dogs, under-dogs, no-dogs ;-)…they are all there…
My choice of players to watch out for:
Ballack(Germany) , Nistelrooy(Netherlands),Ronaldo(Portugal), Klose(Germany), Torres(Spain), Villa(Spain),

Match1: 9.30 PM, Czech Republic Vs Switzerland(I favor Czechs here, one of the best in Group A here…)….btw I forgot to mention, the match is already underway n as of now its 0-0 each!

Match2: 12.15 AM, Portugal Vs Turkey (Am all for Portugal, with a very Dynamic n aggressive Scholari as their coach n Cristiano’s antics on d field, they are my clear favorites, hopin’ Turkey do not spring any surprise…;-))…….

There’s more to come…Post-match analysis, players who ruled the roost on the day…
My new fav(at present ill stick to Ballack(For his feet) n Klose(For his headers), I absolutely luv the guys ;-)…)…

As of now, this is Amari signing off for the night…

Hail Euro, Hail Soccer!!!!

Adios Amigos,